Greenpeace Campaigner Of 22 Years Announces Bid To Stand For Parliament
20 February 2020: Steve Abel was selected last night as the Green Party candidate for the New Lynn electorate in West Auckland. The Long time environmental activist and Greenpeace’s former Senior Campaign and Political Adviser stepped down from the organisation in December last year to stand for Parliament.
After a 15 year absence, having stood as a candidate for the Green Party in 1999 and again in 2002, and having been active in the Wild Greens in the late 1990s, Abel rejoined the Party last year. He has also been accepted into the Party’s candidate pool for list ranking in the general election this September.
Abel lives in New Lynn which, with boundary changes, is touted to greatly expand to include all of the Waitākere ranges.
Abel says he will advocate for the Greens bringing “transformational policies” to the voting public.
“We need government policies that are equal to the scale of challenge that we face with the ecological crisis,” he says.
“The reality of climate change is that we have everything to lose, and therefore everything to gain by bold action.”
“People are ready for a bold platform, spurred on by a new generation calling on us to act on climate change, fresh water, and poverty.”
“We need more Greens if we want to see more tangible wins such as the offshore oil and plastic bag bans and increased conservation funding.”
“We’re 44 days into the longest drought in recorded history in our biggest city. It becomes a simple choice this election - If you can see climate change, and you can feel it, and you know damn well it’s real, then your vote needs to be Green.”
Abel began his activism in 1998 with Native Forest Action and the successful campaign to stop Timberland’s West Coast native logging during which he was arrested for locking himself to a five-ton logging helicopter.
Having first volunteered for Greenpeace in 1997, he went on to work for the organisation in the early 2000s on the campaign for GE free food and numerous others, including the closing of Marsden B coal-fired powerstation, the building of Wellington’s West Wind farm, and most recently, the successful seven year battle for a ban on new offshore oil and gas exploration.
Abel has maintained his love of trees and been closely involved in seeking protection for the Paturoa Road Kauri tree Awhi Awhi which suffered and survived a ringbarking attack in 2015, and more recently the campaign to save the Western Springs Forest.
The Green Party list ranking process will occur over the coming weeks.